Glory see Red in Adelaide

Perth hero Jamie Harnwell’s milestone match for the club has ended in disappointment as the Glory went down to Adelaide United 2-0 at a packed Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

Perth hero Jamie Harnwell’s milestone match for the club has ended in disappointment as the Glory went down to Adelaide United 2-0 at a packed Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday night.

Adelaide’s best crowd of the season saw an entertaining and open affair that was ultimately decided by two goals in three minutes from striker Sergio van Dijk.

Perth had been defending valiantly on the road, but a brilliant 70th minute header from van Dijk gave goalkeeper Tando Velaphi no chance, while the Dutchman doubled the advantage with a 73rd-minute penalty.

The Glory were down to 10 men for the final 15 minutes after Jamie Coyne received a second caution.

But Perth still dominated the closing stages without drawing a goal back, as Harnwell, playing a club record 242nd game in purple, was left to rue what might have been.

“Things just don’t seem to be going in for us at the moment,” said the former skipper reflecting on two great shots by Robbie Fowler and Michael Baird early in the game that were both denied by some world class Eugene Galekovic saves.

“It’s disappointing. The lads worked hard and did all they could but just couldn’t do it in the front third.”

The result sees Adelaide extend their lead at the top of the table to six points over Central Coast while the Glory remain in third.

It may have been scoreless at the break but there was no shortage of thrills, though, in a fantastic first half.

A penetrating Lucas Pantelis run down the left in the sixth minute ended with an unfinished cross by the Reds’ stand-in skipper.

Perth immediately countered as a searing cross from Mile Sterjovski on the right found Fowler 20 metres from goal, the Liverpool legend attempting to loft the ball over Galekovic only for the Adelaide stopper to brilliantly palm it to safety.

Three minutes later Galekovic denied the Glory again, this time seeing off a powerful effort from Baird, in his first start for Perth.

The hardworking Steven McGarry caught Paul Reid in possession in the middle, the Scotsman driving the ball forward and cleverly releasing Baird one-on-one with Galekovic, only for the ‘keeper to produce another one-handed save to his right.

Stunned into action, Adelaide lifted their intensity and gained control of possession, forcing Perth back into their own half.

But for all Adelaide’s hard work, Perth’s sturdy defence kept the Reds to just two shots on goal that were well Tando Velaphi dealt with comfortably, the Glory goalkeeper showing no signs of a recent groin problem.

Perth started the second half with greater intensity, pushing forward hard and defending in numbers across the midfield as coach Dave Mitchell brought his central players and back four closer together, reducing the space for the influential Marcos Flores and Matthew Leckie to work in.

Leckie managed to get away in the 62nd minute, the 19-year-old using his explosive pace to sprint down the right, although his cross was brilliantly intercepted by Harnwell, who denied Flores an almost certain goal.

But Perth’s defence was finally pierced with 20 minutes remaining from what initially appeared an innocuous throw-in from the left.

Taking possession, former Melbourne Victory man Joe Keenan swung in a brilliant ball that van Dijk perfectly sent into the back of the net with an angled header that gave Velaphi no chance.

Three minutes later the Reds doubled the advantage from the spot after Velaphi fouled Pantelis on the edge of the area.

Matters took a further turn for the worse for Perth when Coyne received his second yellow card but the Glory refused to capitulate.

In the 82nd minute Sterjovski’s header across the penalty area was nodded over the bar by substitute striker Anthony Skorich, on for Robbie Fowler.

And, in the second minute of added time the Glory were unfortunate not to receive a penalty of their own from referee Matthew Breeze after McGarry was impeded in the six-yard box attempting to nod home a cross.

Match Details
Adelaide United FC: 2 (van Dijk 70-/73- (pen))
Perth Glory: 0
Referee: Matthew Breeze
Crowd: 13,310 @ Hindmarsh Stadium

Adelaide United line-up: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 4.Iain FYFE, 7.Lucas PANTELIS (c) (17.Iain RAMSAY 87-), 8.Adam HUGHES, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK (16.Inseob SHIN 90+1-), 10.Marcos FLORES, 12.Paul REID, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 24.Cameron WATSON, 26.Joe KEENAN (29.Bradley NORTON 86-)

Substitutes not used: 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk)
Yellow Cards: Cornthwaite 44-, Reid 65-
Red Cards: Nil

Perth Glory line-up: 1.Tando VELAPHI, 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 9.Robbie FOWLER (22.Anthony SKORICH 78-), 10.Michael BAIRD, 14.Steven McGARRY, 17.Todd HOWARTH (2.Josh MITCHELL 78-), 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 21.Mile STERJOVSKI

Substitutes not used: 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk)
Yellow Cards: Coyne 38-/75-, Velaphi 73-
Red Cards: Coyne 75-